How To Do Halloween Without Doing Full Fancy Dress

This one goes out to everyone who doesn't spend six months planning their Halloween outfits...


by Tabi Jackson Gee |

For as long as I can remember Halloween has posed a whole host of sartorial dilemmas for me. Day to day I’m naturally drawn to the occasional bit of macabre dressing but the idea of fancy dress gives me the actual heeby jeebies. Seriously, mention fancy dress to me and I lose all sense of how to put an outfit together. Like the time I accidentally went as an ‘opulent, eccentric pink Rambo’ to a festival (my friend’s kind words, not mine). I thought I looked cool. No one agreed.


So in the hope of finding some salvation and breaking this endless cycle of poorly judged outfits, I enlisted the help of Grazia’s Fashion News & Features Editor Charlie Gowans-Eglinton….

Tabi: Hey Charlie, thanks for helping me today you’re the best. So basically, my brief for you has two parts. One, how can I do the gothic thing without having to go full fancy dress and two, please help me not look like a twit this halloween.

Charlie: Good shout. I’m sure we can find something that will a) tick the free entry in fancy dress box, and b) not make you look a plonker getting the night bus home alone. Plus, Victoriana-meets-gothic was a trend on the AW16 catwalks, so you’re onto a winner there.

Tabi: Ok sooooo let’s go try some quasi-gothic Halloweeny clothes on.

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The Bat-like Halloween Thing That’s Always A Safe Bet

Charlie: I feel like there’s a joke about batwing sleeves to be made here? But actually, supersized sleeves were a big street-style trend over fashion month, so this top will work for everyday, too - just tuck it into jeans. The leather skirt and fishnets combination is a double-whammy: it’s a nod to Saint Laurent’s rock’n’roll girls, but also looks like you might have been in The Craft.

Tabi: What I like aboutit is that I feel like it’s something I’d wear normally, minus the bat ears. Maybe not to work - slightly inappropriate even by my Bridget Jones standard - but definitely on a night out. Also, Dad jokes aside, more clothes should have bat wing sleeves on them.

Trucker Turned Floral Loving Goth

Tabi: This is a very un-fancy dress look Charlie, nailed it. I’m a big fan of a black bomber and a good 'ol cap and this has just the right amount of black in it to meet the strict black: other colours ratio that I demand for all my night out outfits.

Charlie: Half Claire Danes circa My So Called Life, half Winona Rider circa Reality Bites. Full 90s grunge magic. If anybody asks, you’re the ghost of style icons past...

The Sandy-From-Grease-Meets-Dora-The-Explorer Goth

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**Tabi: **I feel wierdly at home in this. The leather trousers are flattering and not too hot - which is great because no one wants to end up like Ross that time. And yes, my earrings actually say Witch Please. Charlie, I think this may be the winner for me…

Charlie: You look bloody delighted, and so you should be. The 90s trio of stomping boots, mini-backpack and choker are spot on, and the halloween-y accessories and top-to-toe black are enough to satisfy any costume doubters. Also, your bum looks ace.

You can shop the Halloween collection now.

**Like this? You might also be interested in: **

Stranger Things Halloween Costumes: How To Dress Like Eleven, Barb, Nancy And Joyce

9 Suitably Spooky Halloween Accessories For Under £9

In Which We Investiage The Fine Sartorial Art Of Reference Dressing

Follow Tabi and Charlie on Twitter @tabijgee @charliegowans

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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